Prayer and Reflection for Mother Earth
By Michael Ketterhagen, PhD
On this 50 th anniversary of Earth Day in the United States let’s reflect of the wisdom of the Native American Tradition and pray with the Christian and Jewish Traditions for the source of our physical life on Earth—Mother Earth.
Please reflect on this reading, attributed to Chief Seattle to the U.S. president in 1854:
“The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky, the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air or the spark of the water, then how can you buy them? Every part of this Earth is sacred to my people; every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people. We know the sap that courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are a part of the Earth, and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle: these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and (humans) all belong to the same family.”
How have we treated our family members? Francis of Assisi spoke of the sun as his brother and the moon as his sister. How are we connected to the elements of physical light in our world? Francis sees the glory of God in all of nature. How have we seen God’s glory, even in the midst of our confusing “Covid-19” time? Is the Earth and its creatures crying out for balance and wholeness after a long time of imbalance and separation? Today and every day, we all need to sing with the Christians and the Jews who sing glory and praise to our Mother Earth. Let us worship God today with all the heights of heaven for our Mother Earth! “Hallelujah! Praise God from the heavens; praise God from the heights! Praise God, all you angels; Praise God, all you multitudes in heaven! Praise God, sun and moon; praise God, all you shining stars! Praise God, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Most High, For God commanded and they were created. God established them forever and ever; God fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed. Praise God from the earth, You sea monsters and all deeps, Fire and hail, snow and frost, Stormy wind fulfilling God’s command! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds! Sovereigns of the earth and all peoples, Royalty and all rulers of the earth! Young men and women alike, old and young together! Let them praise the name of God, For God’s name alone is exalted; God’s glory is above earth and heaven. God has raised up a horn for God’s people, Praise for all the faithful, For the people of Israel who are close to God. Thank you God! For our Mother Earth! Namaste’